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Brooks leads way with 32 points as West boys top Rural, 69-57



Obviously there's still a lot of work to be done if Topeka West's boys basketball team wants to make another run at a Class 5A state title.

But veteran coach Rick Bloomquist had very few complaints about the way his Chargers, second in 5A last season, started the year Friday night, with West topping Washburn Rural 69-57 in a battle between the Centennial League stalwarts at West.

"It was a great start,'' Bloomquist said. "Those Washburn Rural kids are competitive, they're winners and they're well-coached, so we knew it was going to be a test for us without a doubt. I was a little concerned about a hangover from last year, but I don't think we had too much of a hangover. I thought we played pretty well. 

"We have a lot of things to work on, especially free throws and silly fouls but you don't want to be perfect now, you want to be perfect later.''

ElijahBrooks2WRTopeka West senior Elijah Brooks slams down a dunk on the way to a 32-point performance in West's 69-57 season-opening win over Washburn Rural. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Senior star Elijah Brooks, a returning All-Shawnee County first-teamer, was the ringleader for the Chargers, scoring 12 points with four dunks in the first 10 minutes on the way to a monster 32-point night as West returned to the court for the first time since falling to Maize in the 5A state championship game in March.

Brooks said it was great to get back out on the court.

"I don't know if it was excitement or nerves, but I think we were all ready for this game,'' Brooks said.

Junior Sincere Austin joined Brooks in double figures with 13 points while senior Zander Putthoff had nine points on three 3-pointers as Topeka West only trailed once in the game, at 2-0.

Brooks' early dunkfest helped Topeka West build an early 24-8 lead and the Chargers went on to take a 31-18 lead at the half.

Washburn Rural battled back in the second half to get within seven points late in the third quarter and the Junior Blues got as close as seven again late in the game, but were unable to get any closer as West shot 58.5 percent from the field and hit enough free throws (14 of 29) to hold Rural at bay.

QuinceyKiddTWWashburn Rural senior Quincey Kidd, reacting to a play Friday night, led the Junior Blues with 18 points in a 69-57 loss at Topeka West. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Rural, which shot 50 percent from the field and connected on 17 of 19 free throw attempts, got 18 points from senior Quincey Kidd, 13 from junior Jack Bachelor and 12 points from sophomore Griffin Durst. 

"I thought we showed some fight in the second quarter and then we cut it to seven in the third and seven in the fourth so we had two opportunities where we kind of got it close, but Elijah was just a little bit too much,'' Washburn Rural coach Kevin Muff said.

Rural used several players Friday that were seeing their first varsity action.

"We're brand new, but they'll figure it out,'' Muff said. "It may take just a little bit of time.'' 


Washburn Rural 8 10 14 25 -- 57

Topeka West 17 14 12 26 -- 69

Washburn Rural (0-1) -- Kidd 3-9 11-12 18, Bachelor 5-10 2-2 13, Howard 0-0 0-0 0, Hirschi 2-5 0-0 4, Durst 4-6 2-3 12, Hanks 1-1 2-2 4, Morris 1-3 0-0 2, Bowen 0-0 0-0 0, JC Heim 1-1 0-0 2, Ross 0-0 0-0 0, Jaron Heim 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-36 17-19 57.

Topeka West (1-0) -- Austin 3-8 5-6 13, Brooks 12-16 7-14 32, Berg 2-4 1-4 5, Alexander 2-5 0-1 5, Putthoff 3-5 0-0 9, Robinson 2-3 1-4 5, Reimer 0-0 0-0 0, Bearman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25 11-15 67.

3-point goals -- Washburn Rural 4 (Durst 2, Kidd, Bachelor), Topeka West 7 (Putthoff 3, Austin 2, Brooks, Alexander) Total fouls -- Washburn Rural 26, Topeka West 18. Fouled out -- Hirschi.